Friday, December 28, 2012

SPINACH GRATIN


This recipe is based off Ina Gratin's recipe for Spinach Gratin. I love her! All of her recipes are absolutely amazing. This is a great side dish that goes with anything. I hope you like it, too. 


SPINACH GRATIN
-4 (10 oz) packages frozen spinach-thawed and drained well
-2 cups Milk
-1/2 stick butter
-1/4 cup flour
-1 cup Cream
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 small onion-chopped
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese-grated
-1 cup Gruyere cheese
-Salt and pepper



DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES

  1. In a large skillet (with at least 1 inch tall sides) saute the onion in butter over MEDIUM heat until translucent (about 5-7minutes)
  2.  Add the flour and nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cream and milk and cook until it starts to thicken up. (about another 5-7 minutes)
  4. Add the spinach, Parmesan cheese and half the Gruyere cheese. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. 
  5. Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and top with the remaining Gruyere cheese. Bake for 25 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MINI CHERRY CHEESECAKES

Portion control can be a quite the challenge during the holidays. One of the many reasons why I love these little cheesecakes. They're perfect for parties especially when you don't want to overindulge. Although it is hard to have just one ;)

MINI CHERRY CHEESECAKES
-2 (8oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese (room temp.)
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 tsp. Vanilla
-1 egg
-1 package gold Oreo cookies
-Cherry pie filling
-Paper liners

DIRECTIONS:
 PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
  1. In a medium size bowl mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add the paper liners to the  pan. Add one Oreo cookie to each (this will be the crust of the cheesecake)
  3. Pour the cream cheese mixture over each cookie. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center of each cheesecake is set.
  4. Let the cheesecakes cool and refrigerate them for at least an hr. Top each one with either cherry pie filling before serving!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

HOT CRAB DIP

Great dip to make for the holidays! Anything with crab in it just seems a little more special. I love this one. It calls for the perfect amount of crab meat so there is no fishy aftertaste. Enjoy!
HOT CRAB DIP
-1 lb crab meat
-3/4 cup sour cream
-2 tbs. lemon juice
-1 tsp. onion-minced
-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
-3/4 cup ground mustard
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-8 oz cream cheese-room temp
-1/2 cup cheddar cheese
-Old Bay seasoning
(Serve with crackers)

DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 325 DEGREES
  1. Mix well-sour cream, lemon juice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder and cream cheese.
  2. Fold in the cheese and crab meat.
  3. Sprinkle the top with Old Bay and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve with crackers

Friday, December 21, 2012

PARMESAN & CREAM CORN

I'm always looking for new ways to get my guy to eat vegetables. No, I'm not talking about my son. I actually don't have kids. I do, however, have a husband who despises all things vegetable. This may not be the most nutritional side dish but at least its a start. Oh and did I mention they are out of this world?? Give them a try and I'm sure you will love them too!
PARMESAN & CREAM CORN
-3 cups of corn
-Olive oil
-1/2 cup chicken stock-room temp
-1/3 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a medium size skillet heat about a tbs. of olive oil over MEDIUM HIGH heat. 
  2. Add the corn (if using frozen corn, make sure its thawed. And brown in the oil for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken stock and the cream.
  4. Cook over MEDIUM heat for 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn the heat off. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve hot. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

LOADED BAKED POTATOS

Its the season to splurge! Perfect time to have a baked potato loaded with sour cream, butter and cheese, right? I couldn't agree more! I love these potatoes as a side dish. Sometimes I add bacon crumbles to the top for my husband. He really loves these, too! 
LOADED BAKED POTATOES
-4 large russet potatoes
-6 tbs. of butter
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 cup cheddar cheese-shredded
-Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375 DEGREES
  1. Scrub the potatoes clean. Pierce each one with a fork a few times.
  2. In a large plate-microwave the potatoes for 5 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes.
  3. Cut a long oval shape into the top of each potato. Be careful it will be very hot
  4. Let them cool for a few minutes. Once they're cool enough to handle, scoop the inside of the potato out into a large bowl. Try to scoop out as much as you can without piercing holes in the skin.
  5. Add the butter and sour cream. Liberally season with salt and pepper.
  6. Lightly rub some olive oil on the potato skins and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  7. Carefully spoon the potato mixture into the skins. Top with cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SOPAPILLA CHEESECAKE (Mexican Cheesecake)



If you're reading this, the dessert Gods have smiled down upon you. What an amazing dessert. I saw this on All Recipes a few years ago. I never heard of Sopapilla (Mexican Cheesecake) but it looked easy so I tried it. Wow, was I glad I did. It quickly became one of my all time favorite desserts. The pictures don't to it justice. You gotta try this one to believe it!



SOPAPILLA CHEESECAKE

-2 cans Pillsbury crescent rolls

-2 (8oz) packages of Philadelphia cream cheese-room temperature

-1 cup sugar

-1 tsp. vanilla extract


TOPPING:

-1/4 cup melted butter

-1/4 cup sugar

-1 tsp. ground cinnamon



DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
  1. Use one can of the crescent rolls to line the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth. 
  3. Spread it evenly over the crescent rolls in the baking dish.
  4. Cover the cream cheese with the second can of crescent rolls (unrolled into a sheet) .
  5. Mix the butter, cinnamon, and sugar in a small bowl and spread evenly on top.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the top browns. 
  7. Let it cool for a few minutes. Serve it in squares.

Thanks for viewing! For more recipes & food ideas, follow Al Dente Diva on Instagram

Christophe L., this recipe is for you! No one loves this dessert more than you. And no one loves making it for you more than I do xoxo




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

PEPPERONI BREAD

This pepperoni bread is seriously addicting. Great at pizzerias but even better eating it warm right out of your own oven. Try serving it along side marinara sauce for dipping!

PEPPERONI BREAD
-1 lb pizza/bread dough (I use the pizza dough the grocery store sells)
-Pepperoni slices
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-Parmesan cheese
-Italian seasoning
-olive oil


DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
  1. Stretch the dough into as large of a rectangle as you can without breaking it.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil-sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  3. Line the dough with pepperoni-top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Roll the dough up like a jelly role (long ways)
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  6. Make about 4 vent slices on the top.
  7. Put the pepperoni bread seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. 
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden on top!

Monday, December 17, 2012

SPINACH & RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS

I am in love with these stuffed shells!! Its been a while since I've made them and I almost forgot how delicious they are! This is such a quick and easy recipe-give them a try.
SPINACH & RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS
-Jumbo pasta shells (a little more than half a box)
-2 cups ricotta cheese
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-1 egg
-1 package frozen spinach-thawed and drained
-Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbs. Italian Seasoning
-Tomato Sauce (About 2 Cups)

DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
  1. In medium size bowl add the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and spinach. Also add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper-Mix ingredients together.
  2. Cook the jumbo shells for 2 minutes less than the cooking time. Drain the shells under cold water and dry on paper towels.
  3. Line the bottom of the baking dish with a little sauce.
  4. Stuff all the shells with the spinach and cheese mixture. Place them in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Pour your desired amount of sauce on top of the shells. 
  5. Bake them for 25-30 minutes!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

ASIAN CHICKEN WINGS

You can not go wrong with these wings. They are amazing!! The two day marinade is so worth the wait.  I marinaded them Friday after work and served them Sunday afternoon. My husband and his friends gobbled them up in minutes. They're so flavorful, no need for sauce on the side! Great for game day!
ASIAN CHICKEN WINGS
-5 lbs. chicken wings (separated into wings and thighs)
-1 (8oz) bottle of Soy sauce
-2 1/2 cups brown sugar (lightly packed)
-1 tsp. ground ginger
-1 tsp ground mustard
-3 garlic cloves, minced

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add all the ingredients and marinate for 48 hours.
  2. Drain the marinade from the chicken and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours-shake them around occasionally.
  3. Serve!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

BACON & BLEU CHEESE MINI QUICHE

Ladies and gentleman, the adorable mini quiche. It doesn't get any cuter with these! I love the blue cheese bacon combo but you can fill them with anything. Ham and cheddar cheese, prosciutto and mozzarella or mushrooms and Swiss for instance. Your possibilities are only limited to your imagination. They taste great and look fantastic! Perfect for the holiday party season!  
BACON & BLUE CHEESE MINI QUICHE
-1 package Pillsbury pie crust sheets
-Cooked and crumbled bacon
-Blue cheese crumbles
-Scallions-chopped
-3 eggs,
-1/2 cup cream
-pinch of nutmeg
-salt and pepper


DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375 DEGREES
  1. Unroll the pie crust. Line either a mini muffin or regular muffin tin with the dough. (Don't worry about it looking perfect.)
  2. Add a little bacon, blue cheese and shallots to each one.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper together.
  4. Pour over the bacon and blue cheese.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes. Gently glide the quiche out once they have cooled off for a little bit. (I use a butter knife to help)
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature



Friday, December 14, 2012

SPIRAL MACARONI AND CHEESE


There is no other comfort food out there better than macaroni and cheese. If you don't agree, this recipe will change your mind! Spiral pasta covered in a creamy cheese sauce with a golden bread crumb topping . Now THAT'S comfort! Try it and let this macaroni and cheese make a believer out of you! 
 SPIRAL MACARONI AND CHEESE
-1 lb. Spiral pasta
-8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
-8 tbs. Butter
-1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
-1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
-1 cup moneray jack cheese, shredded
-1 cup muenster cheese, shredded
-1 1/4 cup Cream
-Salt and pepper
TOPPING:
-1 cup Panko or Plain bread crumbs
-2 tbs. butter

DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 350
  1. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than recommended on the box. Drain under cold water (to stop the cooking process).
  2. Add the butter and Velveeta cubes to the pasta pot. Turn the heat on to MEDIUM LOW for a few minutes. Stir the Velveeta and butter until the butter melts. Add the pasta back in and stir together. (Don't worry if the Velveeta is still cubed-it will melt in the oven)
  3. Add the cream and all the cheeses to the pot-season with salt and pepper and mix everything together. 
  4. Add to a buttered baking dish.
  5. In a small dish-melt the butter in the microwave. Mix into the breadcrumbs and pour over Mac and Cheese (it may look a little dry but that's OK!)  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown

Thursday, December 13, 2012

POTATOES AU GRATIN


I always thought making potatoes au gratin involved a ton of work or at least a mandolin. Thank god neither of those are true. This was so easy, it completely changed my attitude. I will never buy those dried potatoes in a box again. You know the kind that comes with the pouch of powder cheese flavoring. No thank you. Just make sure not to under season this one-it needs the salt and pepper. I hope you find it as easy as I do!
POTATOES AU GRATIN
-4 potatoes-peeled and thinly sliced
-4 tbs. Butter
-4 tbs Flour
-2 1/2 cups Milk
-2 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese-shredded
-Salt and Pepper



DIRECTIONS:
Pre Heat the oven to 400 degrees
  1. Heavily butter the baking dish you are using. Layer the baking dish with some potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue layering with salt and pepper in between each layer until the potatoes are done.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over MEDIUM heat and whisk in the flour until a thick paste forms (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk. Cook over MEDIUM heat until the sauce thickens (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. 
  5. Pour the cheese sauce all over the top of the potatoes. 
  6. Bake for one and half hours. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving!  


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CHICKEN MARSALA

This Chicken Marsala recipe rivals any you can get at a restaurant. This is the real deal- and its all to due with the Marsala wine. DON'T SKIMP ON THE WINE. I used to make this with red wine and it tasted alright. With Marsala wine its a whole new ball game. I got a bottle for $5 at my liquor store. Good investment because I love this so much and make it often. I hope it becomes a regular at your table, too. 
CHICKEN MARSALA
-4 Chicken breasts
-4 tbs. butter
-1/4 small onion-minced
-1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
-1/4 cup Marsala wine
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 tsp Lemon juice
-Salt, pepper, garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Lightly season chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides. Coat the chicken in flour and shake off the access.
  2. In a large skillet melt 2 tbs of butter over MEDIUM heat. Brown the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside once browned.
  3. Add 2 more tbs of butter to the pan-Add the mushrooms and onion-lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms start to brown-about 5 minutes
  4. Add the wine and turn the heat up until the wine begins to boil. (Scrape all the good stuff from off the bottom of the pan while stirring). Turn the heat down to MEDIUM LOW-cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the cream and lemon juice- turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a SIMMER and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add chicken back into sauce and SIMMER for 2 more minutes. Serve with any kind of rice or pasta.




Monday, December 10, 2012

FRIED MEATBALLS STUFFED WITH MOZZARELLA

Fried meatballs filled with warm mozzarella cheese, MMmmm. The only differences between my "usual" meatballs and these are frying them and adding cheese. May not sound like much of a change but let me tell you, you will taste the difference! My husband calls these the best meatballs he's ever had. I hope you enjoy them as much as he does! 

FRIED MEATBALLS STUFFED WITH MOZZARELLA

-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 small onion, minced
-1 tbs minced garlic
-1 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
-1 beaten egg
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Salt & pepper
-Garlic powder & parsley
-3/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese-do NOT buy pre shredded mozzarella-shred it yourself
-Olive oil

FOR THE PASTA
-Pasta of your choice
-2 cups GOOD pasta sauce (click the link below if you need a recipe)

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large frying pan heat 1 tbs. olive oil over MEDIUM heat. Add garlic and onion-sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Once they're done, remove them from the pan and set a side to cool.
  2. In a medium size bowl add-ground beef, bread crumbs, parm cheese, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Also, add the mozzarella cheese, egg, garlic and onion.
  3. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Roll into about 1 inch size balls.  
  4. Fill the large frying pan used for the onions with 1/4 inch of olive oil. 
  5. Heat the oil on MEDIUM HIGH until it is very hot-almost smoking. Very carefully add the meatballs (fry them in batches and do not over crowd the pan).  
  6. Fry the meatballs over MEDIUM heat on both sides for about 3-4 minutes or until there is a nice golden brown crust. 
  7. Drain them on paper towels. Serve over pasta with tomato sauce! 





Sunday, December 9, 2012

THE ULTIMATE PARTY SANGRIA

This is my secret weapon for throwing an awesome party. If you want your guests to really let loose and have some fun, this is the sangria for you! Most Sangria's use ginger ale or sprite for carbonation-this recipe calls for champagne. That's what makes this sangria stand out from the rest. Try it at you next party and you'll see for yourself!


THE ULTIMATE PARTY SANGRIA
-2 Large bottles of red wine (any kind any brand)
-2 Lemons cut into rounds
-2 Limes cut into rounds
-4 tbs. of sugar
-1/2 cup Orange Juice
-2 small jars of diced pineapple with juice
-4 shots of triple sec
-2 bags of frozen mixed berries
-1 large bottle of Champagne (any brand)

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the frozen berries and Champagne. 
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Add the Champagne and berries right before serving and enjoy!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Bite sized mushroom caps filled with cheese and breadcrumbs baked til golden brown. Ahh the glorious stuffed mushroom. I love these making these for parties. I can stuff them the night before and bake them right before my guests come. As a matter of fact these for my holiday party tonight! They're always a hit! Give them a try at your next party!
STUFFED MUSHROOMS
-1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 tbs. chopped parsley
-Stuffing mushrooms, about 30
-1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
-Salt and pepper
-Olive oil
- 2 tbs. butter 



DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large bowl add-Bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese
  2. Clean the mushrooms. Remove the stems-keep half of them and throw the others away. Chop the stems into small pieces and saute in butter. Lightly season them with salt and pepper. Add them to the bowl with the breadcrumbs once the mushroom stems are soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly oil a baking sheet and arrange mushrooms on top. Stuff with the breadcrumb filling.
  5. Drizzle the tops with  olive oil.  Bake  for 30 minutes and serve!






Friday, December 7, 2012

CHEDDAR BAY BISCUITS


No kidding, these biscuits should come with a "highly addictive" warning. I am dangerously obsessed with these. I found this recipe on food.com as a copycat for Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I've never been there so I cant tell you if they are similar or not. All I know is that they are the best biscuits I've ever had! You will be so happy you tried these!!
CHEDDAR BAY BISCUITS
-2 cups Bisquick
-2/3 cup milk
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-6 tbs. butter
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/4  tsp. Old Bay seasoning

DIRECTIONS:
Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees
  1. Combine Bisquick with 4 tablespoons of butter using a large fork.
  2. Add milk and cheese. Stir
  3. Spoon over a ungreased baking sheet. Make them as big or small as you like.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. In a small saucepan melt 2 tbs. butter-add the garlic powder and old bay seasoning.
  6. Spoon mixture over warm biscuits and serve.





Thursday, December 6, 2012

SHRIMP SCAMPI OVER ANGEL HAIR PASTA


Garlic and buttery shrimp over pasta-Yes, please! These shrimp are absolutely fantastic. Great over any kind of pasta or rice! You can also serve it solo as an appetizer!

SHRIMP SCAMPI OVER ANGEL HAIR PASTA
-10-15 shrimp, deveined and cleaned. Tails on or off, whatever you prefer
-4 tbs. butter
-2 tsp. minced garlic
-1/2 cup of white wine
-2 tbs. lemon juice
-2 tsp. dry parsley
-Salt, pepper, garlic powder
-Angel hair pasta-no more than 1/2 pound



DIRECTIONS:
(Angel hair pasta cooks very quick! Boil the water before making the shrimp. Drop the pasta into the water once you add the shrimp to the skillet. They will both be ready at the same time.)
  1. Season shrimp with salt, pepper and a generous amount of garlic powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter over MEDIUM heat. Once all the butter is melted and starts to bubble add the shrimp. Let the shrimp cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic. Continue cooking the shrimp and garlic for anther 2 minutes.
  3. Flip the shrimp and continue to cook until the shrimp just start to curl. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the wine and parsley to the skillet and turn the heat up to MEDIUM HIGH. Whisk ingredients together for about 3 minutes. 
  5. Toss the pasta with the white wine sauce and serve the shrimp on top. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED CHICKEN


I love making this chicken! Its so easy to put together and I always get compliments on it. Simple, easy and very yummy. Give it a try!
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED CHICKEN 
-4 thinly sliced chicken breast
-4 slices prosciutto
-1 tsp. dry oregano
-1 tsp. pepper
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-2 tbs olive oil
-1/4 cup white wine
(no salt! the prosciutto will salt the chicken enough)


  • Directions:
  1. Lay the prosciutto down an a cutting board and sprinkle with oregano.
  2. Season the chicken on both sides with pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Lay each piece of seasoned chicken on top of 1 slice of prosciutto and wrap it around the chicken.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over MEDIUM heat.
  5. Cook the chicken about 5 minutes on each side or until the prosciutto is crispy and the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside once done. 
  6. Turn the heat on the pan down to LOW. Add the white wine and whisk the wine into the oil for about 1 minute. Turn the heat to a simmer and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

T-BONE STEAK MARINADE

This is a must try marinade! We had this last night and my whole apartment smelt like a steak house-and I mean that in the most amazing way possible. Make sure to marinate the steak over night. It really does make a big difference. The meat is so tender, juicy and absolutely packed with flavor. This marinade can be used with any steak-give it a try!

T-BONE STEAK
-1/2 cup water
-2 tbs brown sugar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
-2 tbs balsamic vinegar
-2 tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp garlic powder
-3 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
-2 tbs olive oil
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp pepper
-2 T Bone steaks
-1 sheet of tin foil



 
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large zip lock-all all ingredients. Marinate in the fridge overnight.
  2. Take the zip lock out of the fridge 30-45 minutes before serving. This will bring the steak to room temperature and prepare it for grilling!
  3. Cook steaks on grill or grill pan however you like them. Make sure to let the meat rest under a tin foil tent for 5 minutes before serving. Don't rush it-it will be worth it.


Monday, December 3, 2012

GARLIC PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES

Everyone loves mashed potatoes but we all know they can get a little boring. This is a great way to spice up your usual mashed potato routine. The garlic and Parmesan adds ton of flavor! Great side to serve with any entree. 
GARLIC & PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES
-1 lb potatoes (peeled and cut into same sized cubes)
-1/2 cup Cream
-2 tbs minced fresh garlic
-1/4 c grated Parmesan Cheese
-2 tbs Butter
-Salt and Pepper


DIRECTIONS:
  1.  Add cubed potatoes to a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil turn the heat down to keep a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork. (About 10 minutes)
  2. In a medium saucepan add the cream and garlic Cook over MED heat, stirring often for 2 minutes, turn the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes once done and return them to the same pot you were just boiling them in. Add butter and about a large pinch of salt and pepper.  Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture and  Parm cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes- taste and add more salt and pepper if needed! Serve



Sunday, December 2, 2012

PENNE ALLA VODKA



Penne Alla Vodka is a very popular dish among my friends and family here in New Jersey. Anyone who's had it from an Italian restaurant or Pizzeria knows just how good it is. Making your own sauce is even better! This is an easy, fool proof recipe. You can't go wrong, try it!
PENNE ALLA VODKA
-4 tbs. Butter (1/2 a stick)
-1/2 Onion-minced
-1 tbs. Garlic-minced
-1/2 cup Vodka
-1 (28oz) can of Crushed Tomatoes
-1 cup Heavy Cream
-Salt, Pepper,
-1 tsp. Basil
-1 lb Penne Pasta


DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large skillet (make sure it has a high brim) saute onion and garlic in butter over MEDIUM heat until onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add vodka and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper. Cook on LOW heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (turn to a simmer if it starts to bubble up)
  4. Add cream-turn the heat to MEDIUM. Stir the cream and tomato sauce together for a few minutes. Turn the heat to a SIMMER and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve over penne pasta!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

CHILI DIP

Quick, easy, delicious! I have never met a person who didn't like this dip. When I serve this to my husbands and his friends during the game, I usually set it down and get out of the way as fast as I can. Its eaten in moments. I suggest grabbing some before its all gone!

CHILI DIP
-1 (16oz) can Hormel Chili with beans
-1 (8oz) package Philadelphia cream cheese
-2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Serve with Tostito Chips


DIRECTIONS:
Pre Heat the oven to 350 degrees 
(This dip can also be microwaved-I suggest baking it, stays hot longer)
  1. Line a 8"x8" baking dish with cream cheese.
  2. Top the cream cheese with the chili.
  3. Top the chili with the shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dip is bubbling (or 5 minutes in the microwave)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

EGGPLANT ROLLETINI


If Im eating out and see eggplant rolletini is on the menu-Im ordering it! Its one of my favorite foods. I love being able to make this at home for my friends, especially the vegetarians. Serve it alone as an appetizer or with pasta as an entree. 

EGGPLANT ROLLETINI
-1 Large eggplant sliced thin long ways
-1 1/2 Cups seasoned bread crumbs
-2 Beaten eggs
-2 Tbs. water 
-Olive oil for frying
-Salt and pepper

-1 Tbs parsley
-Parmesan cheese
-1 egg
-1 (15oz) ricotta cheese
-1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

-1  Cup of tomato sauce-jarred or your own



DIRECTIONS:
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees

  1. Slice and skin the eggplant long ways. Set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs and add 2 tbs of water. In another medium bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Dip eggplant slices in egg mix-and then in the bread crumbs. Continue till all eggplant slices are egged and breaded.
  3. Heat a few tbs of olive oil in medium sauce pan over MED HIGH heat. Make sure oil is hot before adding the eggplant or else it will absorb all the oil and be soggy. (You may need to add more olive oil during the frying process-add as needed)
  4. Fry the eggplant on both sides until golden brown (2-3 min on each side) immediately sprinkle fried eggplant with a salt and pepper. Drain the slices on paper towels. Continue till all eggplant slices are fried and seasoned. 
  5. In a small bowl add 1 egg, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt, pepper and parley- mix well. 
  6. Add a generous scoop of the ricotta filling to the eggplant.
  7. Roll the eggplant up and add it to a oven safe baking dish that has been lined with a little tomato sauce.
  8. Add all the eggplant to the dish. Top with remaining sauce-sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes-serve and enjoy!